The lone house loomed at the end of the street, dark and foreboding. Night crept around the car's headlights, trying to shut off what little light illuminated the front of the building. As Trevor cut the engine, a crow cawed in the distance.
"This doesn't look anything like the brochure." Katie held up the bed and breakfast pamphlet, one that promised pampering and relaxation. She glanced between the brochure and the house. The sign that hung on rusted nails came loose at that moment, and half of it fell in a pendulum arc, swaying back and forth to the breeze.
"Yeah," Trevor said, holding his gaze steady on the house. He wouldn't claim to be afraid of whatever was inside, not in front of the girl he was trying to impress, but he also didn't want to step foot inside the house.
The wooden paneling was a gray, faded from the bright white that the pictures of it reflected in its glory days. The paint was chipped and peeled, flaking off in the least bit of wind. Each window was smeared and tarnished with years of grime, unknown in origin. The porch held a single rocking chair, one that eerily tilted with the wind, creaking all the way.
"Maybe ..." Katie let her voice trail off as she stuffed the brochure back in the glove compartment. "Maybe we shouldn't go inside?" She rubbed her arms, trying to stop the goosebumps from forming on her skin.
"I mean, it doesn't look anything like the advertisement." Playing it cool, Trevor tapped his fingers on the wheel. "If you want, I mean, we could ..." He shifted his gaze to Katie, hoping she would tell him to get out of there.
Katie took another look at the house. The roof hanging over the porch seemed ready to collapse on itself. Curiosity had run through her, but she didn't like the looks of those steps. If something happened to her already sprained ankle, she could be looking at sitting out the rest of field hockey season.
Just then, a small flicker of a light danced in one of the upper rooms. The couple blinked and leaned forward, trying to get a better look, but the house offered no answers. The yellow glow eased in and out of existence, almost like it wasn't real.
"We probably shouldn't go investigate," Trevor said. To heck with trying to appear cool, he had no desire to die at this old house.
"No, you're right. This place gives me the creeps." Katie squeezed Trevor's arm. "Hey, look." She held her phone up to him, and he was momentarily blinded by the blue glow. "I found a place with better reviews. Want to go?"
"Sure," Trevor said, turning the car around.
For the seventh time this month, the spirit was annoyed that social media existed. The ghost sighed. Someday, maybe, someone's phone would fail and leave them with no other option than to go inside.
- - -
These posts are silly, parody posts of some scenes that can be found in YA tropes intended to make you smile for your weekend. I adore YA books, as a reader and a writer. These stories are fiction, but provide a possible alternative to scenes from stories we love.
Titles I enjoyed where the MC does investigate (linked images):